Russian Christmas Music

Concert Band

Russian Christmas Music

Concert Piece, Music for Christmas
Grade Level:
Performance time:
US 9x12 (229x305mm)
Full Score + Parts
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Originally written in November 1944, "Russian Christmas Music" was first performed in December of that year at a special concert in Denver, Colorado, by a select group of musicians from five of the leading service bands stationed in that area. Two years later the music was revised and somewhat enlarged, and in that form was one of the three prize-winning works in the 1947 Columbia University contest for new serious music for symphonic band. First performances of this second version subsequently took place in 1948: the first by the Juilliard Band under Donald I. Moore, and the second by the Syracuse University Symphonic Band under Harwood Simmons, to whom the work was dedicated. Since then this music, although not previously published, has remained in the repertory of the concert band consistently and has established the composer as one of the most important writers for the contemporary band or wind ensemble.
Altough the music is essentially the same, the instrumentation has been completey reworked throughout to achieve even greater clarity of texture and the utmost sonority possible.

An ancient Russian Christmas carol ("Carol of the Little Russian Children"), together with a good deal of original material and some motivic elements from the liturgical music of the Eastern Orthodox Church, forms the basis for this musical impression of Old Russia during the jubilant Christmas season. Although cast in the form of a single, continuous movement, four distinct secions may be easily recognized, which the composer originally subtitled "Children's Carol", "Antiphonal Chant", "Village Song" and the closing "Cathedral Chorus". All of the resources of the modern symphonic band are drawn upon to create an overwhelming sound picture of tone color, power, and sonority.

Find European Parts for Download at Alfred Music Publishing: World Parts

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